Maybe the second time will be the charm.The Nordstrom family started exploring the possibility of taking Nordstrom Inc. private last summer and partnered with buyout firm Leonard Green & Partners, only to suspend the process in October as the holidays drew near and worries about retail multiplied.But now, they’re back at it, evaluating financing proposals from banks and sources said they could fare better with Christmas sales across retail coming in stronger than many feared. Nordstrom ran with or ahead of the pack over the holidays, with its net sales up 2.5 percent.“The numbers were OK,” said one financial source. “I think it helped that the entire sector didn’t blow up. All the banks submitted updated financing packages [the week of Feb. 19].”That makes this a key period when the financing will be scrutinized and the path forward could become much more clear. Nordstrom is set to report fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday.Shares of Nordstrom jumped 6.5 percent to $53.56 Friday after WWD reported the process was drawing to a close.Nordstrom has an enterprise value of $10.4 billion, including $8.4 billion in company shares and total debt of $2.7 billion, according to S&P Capital IQ.The company is said to be able to hold as much as $7 billion worth of debt, but the greater the debt load and the higher the interest payments, the harder it will for the retailer to dig itself out.Nordstrom is generally seen as the most likely to succeed out of the department store bunch, with a premium stance, a strong customer service ethos, more than $15 billion in sales and a manageable debt load.Being private would help the company more-readily experiment with new ideas, like the Nordstrom Local concept in West Hollywood that carries no inventory, or bold moves, like its still-to-come New York flagship.The management team is known to be among the most forward thinking of the big retailers and have been trying to lean in to the future, for instance, buying HauteLook and Trunk Club, although with mixed results.Clearly, more changes afoot and the company wants to be ready.At the WWD CEO Summit in October, copresident Pete Nordstrom, noted: “About 26 percent of all business we do is online. I think it’s reasonable to assume we will probably be doing half of our business online in the next five years or so. It’s growing at that kind of rate.”But the dangers of too much debt are all too clear in retailing.Luxe department store Neiman Marcus, the subject of two consecutive private equity buyouts, has worked mightily to manage its $4.8 billion debt load. And the more mainstream department store Bon-Ton Stores Inc. succumbed to bankruptcy this month after a long struggle.The space between having the flexibility to move with the times and the ability to manage the debt load is the line the Nordstrom’s will have to walk.Making that judgment will be the extended Nordstrom clan, including copresidents Blake Nordstrom, Peter Nordstrom, and Erik Nordstrom, president of stores James Nordstrom, chairman emeritus Bruce Nordstrom, and Anne E. Gittinger. Together they control just under one-third of the retailer’s stock.
A first look at @virgilabloh’s sneakers for @louisvuitton. Abloh spoke to WWD about his debut collection for Louis Vuitton, creating @kendalljenner’s #metgala outfit and redefining the heritage brand. Read the full story on WWD.com. #wwdfashion 📷: @alfredo_piola)
The world’s largest producer of denim @iskodenim is sharing the strategy behind its product development process. Read our full interview with ISKO’s product development manager Baris Ozden on the company’s extensive research practices, upcoming denim trends and the latest material innovations on WWD.com. #iskodenim
“I genuinely fell in love with water, I fell in love with Fiji, I fell in love with the whole life that we lived for those few months,” says @mrsamclaflin of filming for his new movie “Adrift” with @shailenewoodley. The 31-year-old actor spoke with WWD about his upcoming projects, meeting Jamie Dornan and working with co-star Woodley. #wwdeye (📷: @jamstoker)
3 years ago, fans of the late singer Aaliyah started calling for a collaboration with @maccosmetics. With the strength of social media — including mock ups of products — 25,000 people signed a Change.org petition for a limited-edition collection, and MAC couldn’t ignore the buzz. Tomorrow, MAC will unveil MAC x Aaliyah, a tribute to the singer who passed away nearly 17 years ago. Head to our stories to preview the new collection, which was worked on by Aaliyah’s family and inspired directly by her makeup bag. #wwdbeauty
Artistic director @clarewaightkeller will be dedicating @givenchyofficial’s fall 2018 couture show in Paris on July 1 to house founder Hubert de Givenchy, who passed away in March at age 91. Givenchy said the collection would be “an homage to his iconic creations, technique, and personal lexicon” and a “celebration of his timeless elegance and grace.” Head to WWD.com to read more. #wwdfashion (📷: Delphine Achard)
La Double J made a name for itself with its vintage-inspired prints, but for resort, designer JJ Martin has ventured into new territory: enter rich jewel toned solids and decadent embellishment, in the form of appliqués, crystals and sequins. #wwdfashion #resort19 #ladoublej
This Just In: J. Crew Group has named Johanna Uurasjarvi as its chief design officer.
Uurasjarvi succeeds Somsack Sikhounmuong, who left the company last September. Tap the link in bio for the full report. #wwdnews
“She came into my hotel room and she was like, ‘I have Chanel and Christian Dior.’ She was like, ‘Chanel likes you.’ And I was like, ‘I’m going to start crying,’” breakout star Maddie Hasson tells WWD of her styling sessions Molly Dickson. “I really like classic, elegant things. I love the way Anna Wintour dresses.” Read more about Hasson’s role in @impulseseries on wwd.com. (📸: @jgreenery ) #wwdeye
@virgilabloh revealed he's working with Australian stylist and
Vogue Australia fashion director @christinecentenera for his debut @louisvuitton men's collection, which will be presented in Paris on June 21. Centenera met Abloh while both working with Kanye West, where she consulted on his all his runway collections since his debut spring 2012 women's wear show. Read the full story on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews (📷: @asussmanphoto)